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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  February 12, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global financial strength to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> american and afghan soldiers have begun to face the taliban. survivors of the haitian earthquake remember hundred thousand of victims. an her effect -- horrific crash.
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welcome to bbc world news. coming up later, nightmare before christmas. heart criticism about the tunnel linking britain and france. cape town's new theater breaks new ground. hello. u.s. marines launched an unexpected attack on the taliban and assault of afghanistan. the aim of the assault, the
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largest since a obama ordered and 30,000 reinforcements last december. we have adam brooks. this has long been expected. the question must be whether the taliban is still there and if civilians have managed to get away. >> you don't expect a salt of this sort is that the forefront, and they must do everything they can to minimize penalties. there's also the hope that perhaps low bubble taliban fighters are not so committed to the attack of thousands of marines, that they would leave, as well. the flip side of this is that those taliban who want to remain and fight, they have begun to
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set improvised explosive devices. so they will show to just what degree they have decided to make a fight out of it. >> even if the taliban can be expelled from the long term from here, it will of course be in an area of major poppy production. what is the long-term goal? >> what they are hoping for in washington is this. a tipping point or any turning up the corner, but they are hoping this now sets the tone for the way forward regarding military operations in afghanistan. because this is the largest operation under way since barack obama conducted his review and strategy. they are recalibrate in the
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entire military civilian effort there. so what they're facing is, look, we want to go in, shape up, clear up these roads. this is what we're going to do. in the last few weeks, the military has been taking up positions, but clear and part of a is now under way as troops moved in. now we will see whether not the nato efforts are able to hold larger against the taliban, and whether construction can take hold. that is the blueprint. let's see if it takes hold. >> thank you very much.
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the response to the financial crisis is timid. the eu offered help, but has no specific details. political support has been slow, and not enough to counter recent speculation. they are on the verge of collapse. two rest by investigators looking at the murder of six british military police into doesn't 3. the investigative judge has ordered all suspects to face trial. -- from 2003. leaders have violated the cease- fire treaty and open fire on the yemeni interior ministry. the government launched the offensive last year. it has been on and off since 2004.
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the haiti earthquake lasted just one minute, but in 60 seconds, it claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. so many lives have ended, or been changed forever. how much change, what is going on? >> they have been called, but it is hard to imagine what it was like months ago. around 35 seconds, possibly more, the earth shook. the ground behind me, buildings fell, and screams echoed out. they have been gathering to mourn for fellows, praying for the dead, but als for their own futures. the grief and sorrow continues.
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they came from across their devastated city 818 other. they struggled together. they worshiped. in a country so little, we met carlos simone. we had last seen them weeks ago as the only daught, stephanie, leonel, and the hospital -- in a -- lay in a coma in the hospital. she has died. outside the palace, they pray for thousands, and they have much to pray for. they have been living in the ruins of their homes. among them, we tracked down one.
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>> [inaudible] >> we first met her just after the earthquake, going into labor. she had fainted in the dusty ground. now in a makeshift shacks, they are doing ok. but what did they need? everything. this capital city is in danger of becoming one sprawling, receiving islam. -- seething slum. in the alleyways, we found carlos, living under a sheet. they are all crammed in year.
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this is progress. next to the homes, we saw 80's crisis making. this is what passes for the toilet. haiti is already utterly devastated by the earthquake, and could be battling mother nature once again. they are already warning of another disaster. but the port is operating more efficiently than ever before. food and water are getting in, though distribution is catching. in the camps, a massive vaccination program is under way. in a field, we found them
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marching out. with their bare hands, it is the people who are building a new port-au-prince. broadly speaking, there was no hope here. no doctors, no medicine, but that has changed, with medical staff internationally on the ground. ports are back up and running, but not in a perfect russian -- fashion. u.s. civilians in charge of this effort spoke to me earlier this week. the key question now is what to
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do with haiti in the long term, and aid agencies are divided on that. they say this is a chronic problem in the capital city, which has 3 million people. there does not appear at this stage to be the room to rebuild. have to find out how much money they are prepared to spend. >> this is coming in, reports of a shooting at a university of alabama campus in hs built -- consul -- huntsville. three killed, another injured.
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we understand this was friday afternoon at the shelby center at the university's science building. police secured the building, and students have been cleared from it. luge participants at the vancouver olympics has died in a crash, confirmed by the olympic committee. he lost control and struck a steel polled more than 150 miles -- kilometers an hour. he was considered one of the fastest, and the event has been suspended indefinitely. >> at the moment, it looks as though the competition will go head.
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but we know that the ioc, the international olympic committee, might change. but at the moment, that is the latest news. he crash, quite unexpected. there have been a lot of crashes on this track. in the last couple of days, it has been said to be the most technically demanding track, and the main difficulty is the speed, nearly 100 miles an hour. the track had 16 quarters, and going around it, this morning,
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it was only the second season. it was the sixth and final training run, and there was a traffic situation here, with the game's only opening. >> sri lankan supreme court has agreed to hear the case of the arrested president, farm sector. thousands have protested his release. -- fonseca. former u.s. president bill clinton has left the hospital, where he had an operation on his heart following complaints of discomfort in his chest. he had triple bypass surgery at the same hospital six years ago. famous landmarks in rome, including the coliseum, are on the verge of being covered with
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snow. it is causing slippery conditions, but it did not keep tourists away. it is supposed to be the heaviest snowfall and 24 years. thank you for being with us on bbc world news. more is to come. here on the afghan offensive against the talan, we speak with an afghan journalist in afghanistan for the last offensive. >> here is what is catching your eye on the bbc news website. thousands of coins produced with chile spelled chiee. they have become collectors' items. the man who invented the frisbee had died at age to 90's he invented that -- at age 90.
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he invented it in the 1940's. he renamed the toy frisbee. and with their lumbering walker, elephants moving at high speed are not the most graceful animals. but they walk and run at the same time. they run with front legs, but walk with their back legs. details on those stories on the bbc website. come check it out. >> another headline for you this hour on bbc world news. senior u.s. officials tell the bbc that a big offensive has begun against the taliban and south afghanistan. let's get more on doubt -- on that now. our reporter was in afghanistan during the last offensive there. this may be important. it also sense of what it means to the afghan people.
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there are a lot of people watching, aren't they? >> it is important, but mostly important for people who have been watching operations. but many people are still insecure. so this foundation is coming herwe are, and the head of the operation, even people involved with consulting, we are doing it, trying to reduce casualties and bring order io the place, and we are not going to leave. so hopefully, if this operation
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is successful, it is the best they can do. so if this is going to fail, it is with a whole operation in afghanistan. >> it is possible this could be short. we know that's a billion stay inside -- civilians are suppod to stay inside, if possible. >> 10% of the population, because 10%, not even 10% have been taken with a year. the fear of joining the opposition and the taliban, and in the area, people are talking about getting out of the door so it really is the idea that the operation is going to be reducing the number of civilian
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casualties, at a time when people are taking consolation and winning over discharge people. it is really important about people. >> thank you very much, indeed. he has received many honors in south africa, but now he has received a theater named after him. the director says it will be his most important play ever. our african correspondent has this. >> on stage in the new south africa, a production of "the magic flute." is in a country still grappling
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with a troubled past. they prepare to celebrate the opening. the warehouse and church has been named after one of apartheid's harshest critics. >> such reverence. all of this theater is full of that reference and ghosts. i am just really humbled by it. the only way i can deal with this is to do what i can if i have the time left, do more work. we have the stage, and a wonderful audience of fellow
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south africans. it is a rocky area south of cape elizabeth. >> deeply premiers here in march. he describes this as his most important work. it is a dark tale of despair in south africa. >> take the fingerprints. >> in the 1970's, international acclaim came to him at a time when plays work deemed it too controversial to use on the stage in south africa. >> it is democracy, to know about it, in a way.
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but he is not going to stop criticizing were demonstrating -- or demonstrating that humanity is more important than anything else. >> for these younger artists, there are members of the distant past. -- memories of a distant past. they can inspire new talent. bbc news, cape town. >> only a couple of days until chinese new year celebrations. there is hard work and preparation for the performers. we have been taking a look at rehearsals in beijing. >> this chinese new year is the year of the tiger. the rhythm of preparations is taking place.
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line dancers can be seen, performing a balancing act. he says they have been practicing for six days. he promises a great show. chinese new year is also represented by flowers, aig partf the celebrations. in china, flowers are a sign of good fortune. >> it is tradition that everybody comes to the markets. i see families of the festival's get close. >> but millions are on their way out the capital. major train stations attacked, and 200 million people are
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expected to use public transport. >> investigators have criticized the breakdown that left 2.5000 passengers -- 2000 passengers stranded under the english channel. the contingency plans were not sufficient. let's take you back now to the start of the afghan offensive. i think you have more details for us, adam? >> they are coming out of southern afghanistan now. we are seeing quotes from marine officers telling us that helicopters have been landing, and the assault is under way there on a very large scale, an
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assault to try and clear the area of its taliban occupants. we also are hearing about significant willingness, and that seems to be significant, the degree to which they are helping the coalition. this is still in its early moments, and we will be waiting in the coming hours to see how quickly and effectively this goes. >> it is just as important to win hearts and minds. we're just hearing from a journalist on the ground quite recently that very few civilians have left.
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along with these operations go on, the more civilians suffer. this has to be short and sharp. >> it is interesting. i have seen things that confirm many civilians have opted not to leave the region. clearly, it is on a list of objectives not to have civilian casualties, but we will have to wait and see how that pans out. >> thank you very much. thanks to you for being with us. more information anytime you want us on our website, and that is, of course, >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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